Bearded dragons are small reptiles that make lovely pets. While caring for them is quite exciting and rewarding, it’s expedient you understand their basic needs.
Daily intake of water is needed for the health and vitality of these little creatures. In this article, you’ll learn about everything their drinking needs, from the amount required to dehydration signs and how to get these pets to drink water.
Do Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
Yes, bearded dragons drink water for survival and metabolism. While some take a little amount of water, others may not take it except they’re being prompted. Some bearded dragons will not drink water from their water bowls.
Since most of them will not readily drink water, you should adopt other means to keep them hydrated and healthy. Provide a balanced diet consisting of calcium, insects, and vegetables. Misting and regular baths play a pivotal role in hydrating them.
How Much Water do Bearded Dragons Drink?
The average volume of water needed by a bearded dragon ranges from 10-30 ml per day, though this differs based on their age and size. There’s an increased water intake in bigger dragons, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all amount.
To keep your beardie healthy, we recommend providing it with fresh, clean water and a varied diet consisting of different insects, fruits, and vegetables. A weekly or bi-weekly bath will also help increase the level of hydration in bearded dragons.
An unhealthy beardie may need more baths and water-based foods to rehydrate compared to a healthy one.
Can a Bearded Dragon Get Dehydrated?
Water is a basic necessity for life. Every living organism needs water to survive— hence, bearded dragons can get dehydrated. Insufficient water over a short period can result in dehydration in these small-sized animals.
Now that you know bearded dragons can be dehydrated, how can you tell when they’re dehydrated? Below are signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Wrinkled skin
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Fewer bowel movements leading to constipation
- Low shedding
- Decreased body weight
If you observe the above-listed visible signs, you may want to perform a loose skin test to determine the level of dehydration.
To conduct the loose skin test:
- With a firm grip, hold your beardie in one hand.
- Use your two fingers to pinch the skin slightly on its back or side
- Release the skin. If it quickly stretches back to normal, it’s well hydrated. If it slowly returns to its usual form, then it’s dehydrated.
A well-hydrated beardie has elastic skin, while a dehydrated pet possesses loose skin. If you notice that the animal doesn’t get enough water, you can pump up their hydration levels by feeding them worms, such as phoenix worms.
The worms are first soaked in water before giving them to your dragon. The soaked worms will absorb a great amount of water, which will elevate hydration levels when fed to the beardie.
It’s expedient you monitor the signs of dehydration early enough, so it doesn’t result in serious health issues like kidney problems. If you offer hydrating regimens to your beardie and it still gets dehydrated, you should consult your veterinarian.
How to Get Your Bearded Dragon to Drink?
Have you noticed some signs of dehydration in your pet? Here are ways to get them to drink water:
– Add Flavor to the Beardie’s Water Bowl to Lure It
A water bowl is an essential need of the dragon to stay hydrated and healthy. Their enclosure must contain one. Ensure fresh water is provided for them regularly. Consider the bowl size and amount of water needed to fill it before buying a water bowl.
This is important since beardies like to submerge themselves in the bowl while drinking from it. You may notice that your bearded dragon doesn’t like to drink water; adding natural fruit juices will lure them into drinking.
If it doesn’t entice them, try adding a higher concentration of flavor such that the dragon can’t resist the smell. Make sure you change the water often as bearded dragons can contaminate it by defecating in the bowl.
Misting is the most efficient way to influence bearded dragons in drinking water. It helps to prevent dehydration and also helps the reptiles absorb water through their skin. Here are steps to take when misting:
- Get a spray bottle and fill it with mild warm water. You can use bottled water since it has undergone a purification process. Tap water can also be used, but you’ll need to filter before using it.
- Spray water on the head of your bearded dragon so it can form droplets. As droplets run down their face, they tend to lap them up.
- Repeat the process till they stop lapping up water droplets.
You can also spray mist on their water dish. It creates a rainy effect, thus stimulating the dragon to drink water from the bowl.
Another clever way to get them to drink water is by misting food. Place finely chopped veggies in a bowl and have it sprayed with water.
Allow beardies access to the misted food and watch them enjoy their meal. Monitor the substances in the bowl as water may likely dry up due to humidity. If it dries up, ensure you spray more water on the food.
You can also consider misting your dragon’s enclosure as it’s more effective for bearded dragons that dislike drinking water from their bowls. Their tongue is sensitive to their environments and objects, so they enjoy licking surfaces.
Mist the glass of the tank or enclosure where they’re being housed. You’ll notice some droplets on parts of the tank. Watch your pet lapping up these droplets.
Giving the Bearded Dragon a Bath
Bathing is a hydrating regimen for bearded dragons. It’s ideal for pet owners to bathe their beardies at least once a week. While bathing, these reptiles can absorb water through their skin, which is a natural means of obtaining water.
Get the right water bowl and fill it up with clean, fresh water. You can also make use of a tub. Gently place your dragon into the bowl of water and let them get accustomed to the environment.
Ensure the water isn’t too hot or cold to touch, and place a wad of cloth beneath the bowl for grip. It makes the beardie feel comfortable while bathing. Sprinkle some water on its nose, head, and back. Immerse your beardie in the bowl for close to 10-15 minutes.
Clean the bowl often as these small organisms can contaminate the water by stooling in it. Once they’re cleaned, wipe your beardie and return it to its enclosure lit by a basking lamp that keeps them warm.
Besides rehydrating your bearded dragon, a bath will enable them to get rid of bacteria and foster a bond between you and your pet. Is your beardie dehydrated? Consider bathing them once or twice a week.
How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Water?
You probably know that bearded dragons can last for a given period without food or water. Since they are accustomed to a dry and hot environment, these reptiles often get dehydrated.
They can survive without water for a week or two, but this can make them feel unwell and weak. To keep your pets hydrated, give them fresh water daily.
Can Bearded Dragon Have Tap Water?
Yes, beardies can drink tap water, though we recommend adequately cleaning and purifying it to prevent harmful chemicals like chlorine and fluoride.
Other elements present in tap water that pose harm to beardie include Bromodichloromethane, Chloroform, and Hexavalent Chromium.
The levels of harm caused by the substances vary based on location and local water supply. Using a water conditioner, you can detoxify tap water to make it fit enough for your beardie to drink.
You can use bottled water that has been purified with water conditioner; though a bit costly, it’s more cost-effective than paying for a checkup at a vet hospital.
Although tap water is fit for human consumption, you need to take extra measures to make it safer for your bearded dragon.
Should You Mist Your Bearded Dragon?
If your beardie consumes food with high water concentration like vegetables, drinks water, and has regular baths, you might not necessarily need to mist them. Studies have shown that bearded dragons don’t absorb water through their skin hence the need to mist them to enhance hydration.
These reptiles possess different personalities. Some do not enjoy drinking water from their water bowls; hence misting them is necessary. Misting is more effective during shedding as it helps soften the scales of these reptiles.
It’s also necessary to amp up misting in the winter season since it’s usually dry during this period. Ensure you mist them a few times per week when it’s cold outside.
Bearded dragons need water to remain hydrated. Now you know the volume of water needed, how to get them to drink water, and how long they can survive without it.
Provide your beardie with adequate water, feed them with quality diets, and regularly bathe them to improve their wellness and health. Have fun keeping them as pets!